N.H. family claims they found black widow spider inside package of grapes

Thursday, July 14, 2016
Black widow grapes
A picture showing the apparent black widow spider in the package of grapes.
Jennifer Rydeen

FREMONT, N.H. -- A New Hampshire family gets a lot more than they paid for after a trip to the grocery store. The family says they found a live black widow spider in their bundle grapes.

10-year-old Ella Rydeen loves the fruit, so over the weekend she and dad picked some up from the grocery store Market Basket in Epping, New Hampshire.

But when they got home to Fremont, mom Jennifer Rydeen knew something wasn't right.

"When I was rinsing them, I noticed some cob webs," Jennifer said.

"I knew that there was something wrong because when she screams, there's always something wrong," Ella said.

Jennifer saw what appears to be a red mark on the spider, commonly found on black widows.

"That was probably my biggest nightmare, to actually look down into the box and see a black widow sitting there. Alive," she said.

That's when Jennifer's husband stepped in to first record the evidence, then save the day.

"It's a spider. I'm gonna squish it. So I threw it down on the ground. I stepped on it and then the rest is history for that," said Michael Rydeen.

They haven't slept well the past couple of nights.

"Any little tickle kind of creeps us out," said Jennifer.

One of the most venomous spiders in the country, black widows aren't usually found in the Northeast.

A bite can cause health problems and could be deadly for the elderly and small children. The organic grapes came from California.

Jennifer says she contacted Market Basket, which apologized.

"Offered us a refund and said that they would let produce know so that they could double check, which was really what we wanted," said Jennifer Rydeen.

The Rydeens feel fortunate no one was hurt and now are happy to get rid of the haunting reminder.